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Unit 7: Agriculture & Complex Societies

About this unit

Foraging is hard. It takes a long time to find the food and materials needed to feed a village. Foragers often have to walk long distances to get everything they need. Throughout the year, they had to move from place to place as they used up resources or to follow the seasons. It is not an easy life. One day, someone came up with the idea of farming. It is easy to assume farming always existed, but it hasn’t. Humans invented agriculture. Farming enabled people to grow all the food they needed in one place, with a much smaller group of people. This led to massive population growth, creating cities and trade. Since not everyone in a community was needed to run a farm, this freed up some people to specialize in other things, like government, armies and the arts. Civilizations were born. Wherever agriculture flourished, humans came together in larger populations, stockpiled resources, and developed complex infrastructures. Farming radically transformed almost every aspect of human society.